Review: Carmina Burana, Haverhill Choral Society, Hundon Parish Church, April 25

Haverhill Choral Society performed Carmina Burana at Hundon Church

Haverhill Choral Society performed Carmina Burana at Hundon Church - Credit: Archant

Those who followed the synopsis in the very helpful programme notes will have been left in no doubt the subject matter was very much concerned with the joys of spring and this was reflected in a very energetic performance under the direction of Jane Wright.

Hundon Church was the setting for this enthusiastic performance in the presence of the mayor and mayoress of St Edmundsbury, Robert and Diane Everett; and the society’s president Christopher Gurteen.

Nick Fowler proved a very able baritone soloist, who handled the very high range and contrasts of tone admirably. His top Gs in Estuans interius were to be much admired.

Penny Manser, the soprano soloist, exploited the variety of tone demanded to full effect, ranging from a wonderfully clear tone in Stetit puella to the tenderness of In trituna; revealing her voice at its very best in the sustained notes.

David Hart gave a fine dramatisation of the roasting of the swan, you really felt it from the poor swan’s perspective.


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The Ragazzi parts were sung by Samuel Ward Academy Chamber Choir and they also made a valuable contribution to other chorus work.

Very precise piano accompaniments were provided by Nigel Brown and Viviene Brooks alongside a very able percussion section adding great tonal colour.

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The chorus itself was very strong and balanced the powerful instrumental accompaniment and especially revelled in the full chorus moments.

Despite its rhythmic difficulty, they gave a very precise account of In taberna. They also showed great energy and drive in Tempus est iocundum. In Ave formosissima they sang very powerfully to rise above the very powerful instrumental accompaniment, giving a fine climax to the piece.

Overall the performance was met with great enthusiasm and a standing ovation by the audience of 130 who enjoyed a fine evening’s entertainment and so we very much look forward to the society’s next event.

Edward Dodge

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